A magnificent work on sand

Social Cause

There couldn’t have been a better way to celebrate the festival of Ganesha Chaturthi than to bring together art, culture and a socially relevant cause.

The Orissa Puja Committee organised a sand art exhibition at BEML Kala Mandir recently to celebrate Ganesha Puja and to pray for the passing of the Jan Lokpal Bill.

On this occasion, international sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik created a seven-foot high sculpture of Ganesha. Beside this, there were two other creations — one of Anna Hazare and the other of Jan Lokpal Bill. Sudarshan, who is a maverick of sand art and is known for coming up with new themes with his creation on every occasion, is of the view that nothing happens without the will of God.

“No doubt, Anna Hazare is doing a great job to make this land free of corruption. But I personally believe that the divine forces also have a major role to play in initiating such a movement.” The theme shows Hazare worshipping Lord Ganesha to get the Jan Lokpal Bill passed in Parliament.

About the sand art and the work that went behind it, he explains that it was not an easy task. “It took me 17 hours to complete the work and I constantly keep giving final touches to it,” he says. He explains that this particular work of his took 30 tonnes of sand and is about seven-feet high.

Art depicted through sand is his way of glorifying the Lord. He says that contrary to popular thinking that sand art is just momentary, for him it is the perfect means to pray as it is soft and beautiful and this temporary state touches the art.

Though it had rained on that day, there were a lot of people who had come to see his masterpiece. The magnificent sculpture struck a chord with everyone present there.

Hariprasad Mohapatra, the president of OPC, said the aim of the programme was to bring to forth rare talent from  Orissa and make it known to the world. Says Hariprasad Mohapatra, “We are a charity organisation and we try to conduct at least one such event on the occasion of Ganesha Chaturthi by felicitating people of great calibre. We are trying to give back to the society what they have given to us.”

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